What to do when a group of lazy, lunch-delivering schoolgirls brings spoiled food to the school band, causing them all to get food poisoning? Well, force those brats to pick up some instruments and take the band’s place, of course. That’s the premise of Japanese director Shinobu Yaguchi’s 2004 comedy, Swing Girls—and, if it doesn’t necessarily sound like a plan that would lead to a successful high-school concert, it is an idea that led to a successful comedy. The film, which won seven honors at the 2005 Japanese Academy Awards (including Most Popular Film), was among the highest-grossing Japanese films of the year. Like Yaguchi’s previous feel-good flick, Waterboys, Swing Girls is partly based on real events. One can only hope that the source of Yaguchi’s inspiration fared as well in its final concert and learned as many life lessons as the film’s band does before the credits begin rolling.

The film shows at 6:30 p.m. at the Japan Information and Culture Center, 1155 21st St. NW. Free. (202) 238-6949.

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